There are over 70 mangrove varieties found in the Bhitarkanika mangroves in Odisha which are also home to the highest density of saltwater crocodiles in India. Copyright: Debojyoti Mukherjee
A couple returning with their catch in the Muthupet mangroves at Point Calimere in Tamil Nadu. The mangroves in this Ramsar site support the livelihoods of over 30,000 fisherfolk. Copyright: Neha Owaisy
Pong dam lake’s location on the trans-Himalayan flyway of migratory birds is of great biodiversity value. Over 100,000 migratory birds make this Ramsar site their home during migratory season, including one of the largest congregations of the Bar-headed Goose. Copyright: GIZ
The main objective of the project is to strengthen the institutional framework and capacities for an ecosystem-based integrated management of wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites) in India.
There are over 750,000 wetlands in India which are spread over 152,600 square kilometres. Distributed across ten bio-geographic zones – from the Trans-Himalayas to the Indian Islands – these wetlands exhibit an enormous diversity and support a variety of ecosystem services: freshwater provision, food, fibre and fuels, groundwater recharge and purification, pollution abatement, flood mitigation, erosion control and carbon sequestration. They also provide cultural and recreational benefits. Wetlands directly and indirectly support the livelihoods of millions of Indians. In India, 46 wetlands of international importance have been designated under the Ramsar Convention.
Many wetlands are threatened by reclamation and degradation through drainage and landfill, pollution, hydrological alteration, over-exploitation and climate change resulting in loss of biodiversity and disruption in ecosystem benefits to the society. Wetlands in India form an integral component of biodiversity conservation, water and food security and climate protection.
The Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection project is implemented in close cooperation with the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
APPROACH/FIELD OF INTERVENTION
Four main output areas define the implementation approach of the project:
Integrated management planning for 3-4 pilot Ramsar sites based on biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate change risks.
Capacity development of national, state and site level stakeholders for integrated wetland management.
Development of a wetland monitoring system, including an instrument to track management effectiveness.
Implementation of ecosystem-based sustainable livelihood measures (green recovery post COVID-19)
State Wetland Authorities in the pilot sites
State Forest Departments in the pilot sites
Local communities in the pilot sites
An Inventory, Assessment and Monitoring Framework for Indian Wetlands for wetland managers has been developed which lists prioritised parameters based on their relevance in management, feasibility, and practicality of assessment. This was released at a side-event hosted by the project during CMS COP13, Gujarat.
Illustrative factsheets on wetland values and benefits and threats to the wetland were prepared for the project Ramsar sites for communication and engagement with the local stakeholders. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), along with GIZ and other partners, produced a similar factsheets booklet for all 37 Ramsar sites of India which was released by MoEFCC during CMS COP13, 2020.
An assessment of capacities and training needs to strengthen the institutional framework and for ecosystem-based integrated management of wetlands in India has been carried out.
Training courses and workshops have been conducted for Ramsar site managers, managers of the four pilot project locations and officials from State Wetland Authorities.
Development of a Wetlands Information and Knowledge Web Portal is ongoing, which will include self-based learning courses.